First, an update on my short story submissions. Since my last blog post, I’ve received four rejection letters. I’m sitting on a big ‘ol heap of merde right now with the scent of negatory notes to prove it.
Defenestration emailed me saying, “Because the only thing worse than a form letter is a form letter that bemoans the fact that it’s a form letter, we’ll shut-up right now.” This, after they informed me Driving is a Privilege is not for them. Likewise, Carve Magazine broke it to me gently by saying they won’t be publishing The Professor’s Confession, but I’m welcome to submit again. Ensuite, Guns of the Borough does not meet the editorial needs of The Laurel Review. And Short Fiction Break awarded me a rejection letter for Finish What You Start that rivaled any respectable piece of flash fiction; weighing in at 25 words, they concluded, “Best of luck!” Hey, thanks guys.
The good news is, I have a dozen pieces of fiction still floating around in an electronic no man’s land, which provides plenty more opportunities to grow this rejection pile before the year ends. Furthermore, I haven’t been accepted anywhere. You know what that means? I have a perfect record.
|Bibliotheque Mazarine, Paris|
Next, an update on my writing endeavors. Since my last blog post, I started two short stories that I didn’t finish.
And finally, an update on everything else. But since that’d take all day, and let’s face it, I’m a very busy person, how’s about I just provide you with some useful information on two unique pedaling tours in Paris.
Fat Tire Bike Tours - Versailles Day Trip
I’ve seen the Chateau de Versailles four times since I moved to Paris. I’ve frozen my ass off meandering barren gardens in winter rain, schlepped along the canals in sweltering summer heat, and waited in line with thousands of tourists toting selfie sticks and telephoto zoom lenses. None of these experiences were particularly pleasurable. I thought to myself, What the hell is wrong with me that I’m not loving Versailles? (Note to The Bestie: ‘Member that time I hated Versailles? And I type h a t e d here with the opposite of your pink glittery font, whatever that font might look like… we’ll work on that).
Fat Tire Bike Tours offers an 8 1/2 hour excursion of Versailles that begins in the 15th Arrondissement of Paris - near the Eiffel Tower - at 9 AM. Here, you’ll meet your English-speaking tour guide and your new two-wheeling friends, then leave on the RER (Paris suburban train line) as a group and arrive in the town of Versailles by 10 AM. Pick up your bicycles and head to the local marché!
After an hour of shopping for
wine lunch supplies, you’re on a bike again, following your funny yet informative leader through the streets of Versailles. You’ll enter the grounds of the chateau and garden through a little known side gate (Translation: no line). This leisurely bike tour enables you to enjoy much more than you can see on foot, including Marie Antoinette’s Hamlet, and the Petit and Grand Trianons.
You’ll pedal the entire route along and around the Grand Canal before parking your bike and sharing a mid-day meal of marché-purchased food and beverage supplies with all your new helmeted friends. (OK, no one wears helmets, but whatever).
After an hour, you’ll enjoy more of the gardens and the surrounding area before heading back to base camp (in the town of Versailles near the marché), where you’ll return your bike and walk as a group to the entrance of the Chateau de Versailles. This right here is kind of a big deal, because you’ll notice throngs of tourists queued up, but you’ll stroll right past them and enter the chateau like a VIP with your trusty Fat Tire Bike Tour guide.
|Fat Tire Bike Tours Versailles|
Meander the grand ballrooms, private bedrooms and famous Hall of Mirrors at your own pace and meet up with your fellow biking enthusiasts, who by now are singing the praises of whatever knowledgeable resident Parisienne recommended this excursion, thereby allowing ya’ll to N O T H A T E Versailles.
Book in advance online. Tours depart every day except Monday. Price is 90 euros per person, as of October 2015. The experience is fun, safe, and kid-friendly too. I have completed this tour twice and loved it both times!
On The Cyclo Café - Because The Eiffel is The Bomb
This is a relatively new touring option in Paris, optimized for the local expat market. In other words, if you speak English and you live in Paris, you’re going to have an amazing time on the Cyclo Café. Tourists and visitors can privatize the bike also, which makes for a unique group experience. Traveling with your entire family? I’m sorry. Hey, call these guys.
The Cyclo Café is a mobile Paris picnic table with room for 16 party-goers who pedal their way around the picturesque 7th Arrondissement. The tour guarantees exercise, laughter, friendship, and lots of opportunities for photos, food, and
wine liquid encouragement. In the past month, I’ve spent two afternoons on the Cyclo Café, and both times were convivial, hilarious, friendly, and as the French say, Super!
|Cyclo Café Paris|
Expect to spend a few hours pedaling, relaxing, waving at curious passers-by, and cracking yourself up. You will inevitably take a break in front of the Eiffel Tower, because come on. It’s the Eiffel Tower and it’s right there. Yes, even if you live in Paris, you know you’ll admire it and take a hundred selfies.
There’s a good chance you’ll finish the tour by exchanging phone numbers and/or heading out for aperos with your new, physically fit, expat friends.
The bike is environmentally friendly and can accommodate persons requiring special assistance. Book in advance online, or call to organize a private tour.
*Note: I was not contacted, commissioned nor encouraged by either of the above tour companies to endorse their services. Reviews and opinions expressed in this blog post are based on my personal, fully-paid, ticket-holding experiences without any influence from FOX News, CNN, Andy Cohen, TMZ, or The Bestie. That’s right, I actually paid to procrastinate. And then I wrote this blog post to procrastinate further. And now?
::: insert blinking curser here :::
PS - November is just around the corner, and you know what that means. NanoWrimo, people. Stock up on your energy drinks.